News

News

FIAA presents the Findings of the Business Environment Survey 2016

February 16, 2017
/ /
in News
/
Comments Closed

In February 15th, FIAA presented the findings of the 2016 Business Environment Survey and Perceptions of Business for 2017. Foreign Investors, International Institutions, High Diplomats and other Stakeholders in Albania were invited to learn on the findings and to hear the different perspectives shared by the FIAA Executives, by the Ambassador of EU Delegation in Albania and by the Minister of Finance.

The main findings of the Survey showed that this study was conducted with the participation of the major foreign companies operating in our country, summarizing their perceptions and attitudes towards the different elements of the business climate such as, tax procedures, business confidence, competition, judiciary, etc. According to the survey, the overall business confidence of investors didn’t show any improvement compared to the previous year, however, the majority of businesses say that their business activity for 2016 has increased despite the not good perception of business climate in general.

The main problems identified by business are: the judicial system, corruption, the Administrative Courts efficiency, and the constant change of the law on tax procedures.

During his word, Mr Pedrazzi, Chairman of FIAA highlighted some of the key concerns resulted from the survey and expressed his opinion on the findings mentioning the importance of the investment climate quality in the Investing world and the necessity of continuation of all the taken reforms in order to achieve the needed results. Mr. Pedrazzi confirmed that to solving the above problems, The Authorities have taken some important steps, but still the problem remains in their implementation. The FIAA expectation level is high, even higher than in previous years because the competition is getting tougher- he concluded.

On the other hand, The Head of the Delegation of European Union in Tirana, Ambassador Romana Vlahutin, stated that “Just like any other large segment of a society, business community needs to have trust in institutions, needs stability and predictability.  This is a societal reform. This is an economic reform. A fair, independent and accountable justice system is not only fundamental to the functioning of democracy; it is the prerequisite of a functioning market economy”.

The Economic Reform Program 2017-2019 that Albania just submitted to the European Commission, includes concrete measures that go into the right direction: strengthening business environment, improving labour market conditions and developing sectors such as agriculture, tourism, energy or transport. Working towards a healthy economy should be our joint effort, because is no division between the economic and the political – they are interrelated and interdependent – underlined the EU Diplomat.

The Minister of Finance, Mr Arben Ahmetaj, who was present in this activity, said that the survey results clearly show that the Justice Reform implementation is the main concern of foreign investors. Mr. Ahmetaj interpreted the results as a message for the Government indicating the expectations that business have to a government that is reforming the economy, politics, institutions and themselves.

The Minister expressed his readiness on continuing dialogue with foreign businesses which is a key element in the country’s economy

The main focus of the FIAA survey is to gather information and opinions on the reality of the business climate in the country. The conclusions and results of the survey will help FIAA-n identify the problems and challenges facing investors, which need to be addressed for government policies in order to improve the business environment in the country.

Read More

FIAA establishes Tax and Financial Committee

January 31, 2017
/ /
in News
/
Comments Closed

Early this Year, the Board of FIAA at the proposal of Ernst & Young Albania established the new Committee on “Tax & Financial”, which activity will support FIAA members for a healthy business and tax environment in the country as well as to provide high-quality information on the current and future developments in the tax system in order to enhance stability and predictability of the business activity in Albania.

This Committee is Chaired Mrs. Anisa Jasini, representative of Ernst & Young Albania.

The committee will work in close collaboration with the FIAA Members, the Ministry of Finance and related authorities, Financial Institutions in the country and other stakeholders.

The Tax Committee Working Agenda for 2017 will mainly focus on:

  • Identifying tax issues faced by members and general business community having a negative impact on a specific sector or industry.
  • Promoting tax changes required to improve the business climate based on EU legislation and best international practices.
  • Presenting the association’s position on required tax changes to the EU Delegation and other international institutions.
  • Providing technical support to the FIAA Board of Directors in its discussions with the government or other institutions.
  • Updating members on tax development by organizing conferences, seminars and round tables
  • Commenting on tax bills (on selected area of interest to our members) and their compliance to the letter and to the spirit of the applicable EU framework.

 

In cooperation with its members and the other FIAA Committees, in September 2017 will be issued the second edition of FIAA WHITE BOOK Albania, which will present the most pressing obstacles on doing business environment and will address recommendations to the Leading Government.

Read More

Roundtable on the economic perspectives, opportunities and challenges for FDIs in 2017

January 20, 2017
/ /
in News
/
Comments Closed

The University of New York Tirana (UNYT) in partnership with the Foreign Investors Association in Albania (FIAA) gathered this January in a roundtable with main CEO’s and representatives of businesses in Albania and Economic Diplomatic Officials to discuss on the Country’s economic perspectives, opportunities and challenges for FDIs in 2017.

On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the establishment of UNYT, the CEO, Mr. Andreas Galatoulas stated that a 15-year journey in Albania has been very interesting for the first private university in Albania.  “We consider our institutions as a bridge between academic and business to generate concepts and ideas that will help entrepreneurship. What we want is to understand the business needs in order to prepare the students to be educated in UNYT and provide human resources for the best Albanian businesses. Our graduates of today are your leaders of tomorrow”- he said.

On the other hand, the Chairman of FIAA, Mr. Silvio Pedrazzi during his word, highlighted how important is the link and cooperation between Education and Business. For Mr. Pedrazzi, insufficiently trained human resources are among the main concerns for entrepreneurs. “It is very difficult to find qualified people who know how to make algorithms and do financial analysis. This is particularly a concern in the banking sector, “said Mr. Pedrazzi. He further stressed that the implementation of the Justice Reform and the fight against informality are not only the basis for the progress of the country, but will help to turn the confidence of investors, whether foreign or domestic, and for those who will have to come tomorrow.

One of the largest investments undertaken in the last two decades such as Trans Adriatic Pipeline project is expected to give a big push to the country’s economy. For foreign investors, this is a project that will in addition serve as an example for the private sector implementation, but also in the way it engages local companies. According to the Country Manager of TAP, there is no doubt that one of the major competitive advantages of the country is the low cost of labor.

The meeting unfolded information for foreign investors up to date on economic changes, trends, development and the impact of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Albania. Particularly, there was a focus on challenges FDIs face in Albania and on much needed structural reforms on judiciary system and on business regulatory framework aiming to further liberalize the market. The role of higher education institutions was also highlighted with the goal of filling the gap between the set of skills provided by the education and the needs in the labor market.

University of New York Tirana and FIAA aimed through this event to revert to an annual tradition with the ultimate goal of bridging among academia, business community and policy making.

University of New York Tirana offers dual degree thanks to the precious collaboration with State University of New York – Empire State College, USA. UNYT graduates are part of a global community of more than three million alumni in general and more than 3,400 just last year.

Read More

FIAA opposes returning of compulsory membership in the Chambers of Commerce and Industry

October 1, 2016
/ /
in News
/
Comments Closed

FIAA, as a representative of the foreign business community in the country has recently expressed its concerns related to the amendment of the law for Chambers of Commerce and Industry which the Albanian Parliament approved during the parliamentary session of September 29th.

This legal amendment restores compulsory membership of business to the Chambers and a payment of the annual quota for all legal entities registered in Albania.

FIAA has stated that these changes were not part of any public discussion phase in the Ministry of Economic Development, Tourism, Trade and Entrepreneurship before they were sent to Parliament of Albania, contrary to the explicit commitment by the government for discussion and dialogue with business groups of interest on legal acts and regulations that affect business, as well as contrary to the legal obligation set out in law no. 57/2014.

Read More

South East Europe Regular Economic Report

September 30, 2016
/ /
in News
/
Comments Closed

The World Bank in Albania has presented last month “South East Europe Regular Economic Report “ a bi-annual report series on recent economic developments and economic policies in South Eastern Europe (SEE6: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia). The report looks at the economic performance and outlook for the SEE region and specific factors that affect the growth prospects.

For more information please visit: www.pubdocs.worldbank.org
Read More

Access to Financial Services in Agriculture focus of 7th Meeting of the Investment Council

September 29, 2016
/ /
in News
/
Comments Closed

The Investment Council (IC) held on September 29th its regular meeting. The meeting was chaired by the Minister of Economic Development and attended by the Minister of Agriculture, as well as a group of representatives from agribusiness associations and related donors. In her opening word, Minister Ekonomi highlighted the measures undertaken by the Government towards the improvement of the business climate and promotion of private investments in the country, including those in the agro-industry. She also mentioned that Investment Council remains a very good platform enabling a transparent, constructive and open debate with the business partners.

For more information please visit: https://www.investment.com.al/4184/

Read More

FIAA meets with Journalists and Business Associations from Europe

September 27, 2016
/ /
in News
/
Comments Closed

Particip GmbH is carrying out a project on behalf of European Commission’s DG NEAR, with purpose of informing the public in EU member states about the progress that countries who are candidates and potential candidates for EU membership are making in fundamental areas, such as fight against corruption and organized crime, economic development etc. In this course, there have been organized in Albania two study visits for 15 journalists from different EU member states and 20 European Associations.  

Read More

Roundtable on New Renewable Energy Draft Law

September 27, 2016
/ /
in News
/
Comments Closed

Foreign Investors Association of Albania (FIAA), jointly with the Albanian Association of Renewable Energy (AREA), the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of France-Albanie, organized in late September a roundtable dedicated to the new normative framework of renewable energy. Present were the Ambassadors of Italy and France, representatives of the Austrian Embassy, the Ministry of Energy and Industry, ERE-s, IFC, EBRD, banks, state institutions, local and foreign investors in the energy sector in Albania.

The new Renewable Energy Law is considered as a unique opportunity to provide a satisfactory answer to the present concerns of both Albanian and Foreign investors in this sector. Under the condition of guaranteeing a proper regulatory frame to both existing and new investors, FIAA is fully convinced that the new renewable energy law represents a major opportunity to strengthen the energy sector and provide the much needed growth to the Albanian economy.

Read More

PRESS COMMUNICATION FROM FOREIGN INVESTORS ASSOCIATION OF ALBANIA

September 22, 2016
/ /
in News
/
Comments Closed

22/09/2016

FIAA strongly condemn the recent and violent criminal attack perpetrated against the Administrator of OMNIX Group in Albania, Mr. Fadi Mitri.

The event had occurred in a moment in which FIAA, the International Partners as well as the Government of Albania are intensively working together in order to improve the Business Climate and to attract new foreign investments, much needed for the development of the Country and the improvement of Albanian‘ standards of living. This is a clear case action committed by single out-of-Law-individuals which can put at risk the reputation of the whole Community.

FIAA, even assuming it is an “isolated case” and appreciating the timely reaction of the Law enforcement forces, urges the State Institutions to take the strongest possible measures against those “common enemies”. Moreover, FIAA takes the opportunity to remind how important was the approval of the Justice Reform, so effectively supported by the Association from the beginning.

FIAA, as a representative of foreign Businesses that apply the best practices and the highest ethical standards,   stands ready to cooperate with all the healthy components of the Civil Society and with the State Institutions in order to avoid these unfortunate events happen again in the future.

Read More

Meeting with the Representative of DG ECFIN

September 22, 2016
/ /
in News
/
Comments Closed

The European Commission is in process of preparation of the Country’s Annual Report for Albania. In this regard, FIAA as key stakeholder in the business environment of Albania has met with various representatives from DG ECFIN (Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs) to specifically discuss on recent developments in the economic criteria of the country. FIAA has admitted the progress in different economic sectors and has highlighted views and experiences of the foreign investors in Albania stressing the two most important concerns of the Foreign Investors, Predictability and Stability of legal and tax system. FIAA acknowledges the several reforms the Albanian Government has undertaken in regards to the improvement of the Business Climate and is looking forward to their proper implementation and expected impacts.

Read More